How This Local Cafe From Negros Occidental Tastefully Called Out Vloggers Asking for Free Food

The viral post, made by Mr. Bunny Cafe PH, also states what vloggers and influencers can do instead to show sincere support for small businesses.

Did you know that according to data presented by global marketing consultancy R3, 70% of Filipino online consumers have made a purchase that is influenced by influencer recommendations? 

It is because of numbers like this that countless brands invest heavily in influencer marketing. In fact, the Asia Pacific Insights: Influencer Marketing Report 2023 released by Partipost and MSW Ventures says that 60% of the brands here in the Philippines allocate up to 50% of their budget to influencer marketing. 

While influencers and vloggers are undoubtedly popular here in the Philippines, many use this to take advantage of brands by asking for free products and services in exchange for content. This particular behavior is what a cafe from Negros Occidental called out in a Facebook post that has gone viral since it was published. 

With around 4,700 reactions, 2,200 shares, and 1,400 comments as of writing, the post has started a discussion on whether it is the cafe or the vloggers that are wrong in the scenario. In this article, we look into what happened and how this incident can serve as a lesson for both influencers and businesses.

The Viral Facebook Post

The cafe in question is known as Mr. Bunny Cafe PH. Its Facebook post starts with “We do not support vlogger or vlog endorsements, no matter how famous you are in the whole of Negros Occidental, if the exchange is that we pay for your transportation to and from, and then serve you all of our best-sellers from the menu.” 

Instead, the cafe says that vloggers can genuinely support small businesses and establishments “by making a purchase and vlogging about your experience.” 

“Instead of taking advantage, we would appreciate vloggers who willingly spend from their own pockets to buy from us and vlog about us, rather than expecting free food and drinks in exchange for a vlog,” the post adds. 

Netizens Debate in the Comments 

A look at the post’s comment section shows that a number of the comments are supportive of Mr. Bunny Cafe PH’s stance on the matter.

“Regardless of the hate that you are getting from other people, please do not take down this post,” one Facebook user said in the comments. 

“I totally agree with you Mr. Bunny Cafe PH,” Another comment reads. “We need to support each other, particularly those in the startup business community.” 

While there are those who are supportive, there are those who have voiced their disagreement in the comment section. One particular comment reminds Mr. Bunny Cafe PH that vloggers invest time and money in their equipment “Tapos gusto mo rin libre?” The comment asks. “Win-win dapat.”

[Translation: Now you want it (their content) for free too? It should be win-win.]

Another comment points out that content creating is a business too. “Wag naman po parang kayo lang ang dehado,” the commenter says. “May mga brands na willing i-shoulder ang pamasahe. Kung hindi mo kaya, just say no.”

[Translation: Don’t make it look like you’re the only aggrieved party. There are brands that are willing to shoulder the fare. If you can’t do it, just say no.]

Popular Vlogger Offers Tips

In the midst of the debate that the post has started, certain vloggers have offered their two cents on the matter. One of them is Carlo Ople, the Founder and CEO of Unbox Group. 

In a Facebook post, Ople shares his recommendation on how vloggers and influencers should go about getting in touch with businesses. 

“Start a relationship with them,” Ople recommends. “Visit their cafe and eat there. Get to know the staff or the owner. Leave a tip and, if you liked their services, post an IG [Instagram] story or two.” 

“Good and effective pitching is all about KNOWING YOUR AUDIENCE,” he likewise points out. “You need to know what their needs are and identify where you can add the most value to them. In my experience, the best way to uncover this is by getting to know them via #1.” 

Lastly, Carlo Ople also reminds influencers and vloggers that there are times when things do not work out with a particular brand. “But if you have a genuinely good relationship, they’ll probably endorse you to someone they know down the road, which is another set of opportunities that you can explore,” the Unbox Group Founder and CEO says.

Key Takeaways From the Mr. Bunny Cafe PH Incident

One of the commenters on Mr. Bunny Cafe PH’s pointedly asked the question, “Why don’t you guys meet in the middle?” and rightfully so.

Indeed, it is important for both brands and influencers or vloggers to show respect for each other’s business. This can be done by respectfully negotiating the deal that either the brand or the influencer is bringing to the table. 

If possible, try to come up with terms that are favorable for both parties. Once that deal has been reached, put it in writing so that all terms and conditions are clear between the two parties. However, should one disagree with the other’s terms, there is nothing wrong with saying no.

At the end of the day, it is all about respect. Influencers should respect that brands, big or small, incur costs whenever they give out free food or services. In return, brands should recognize and respect that influencers are running a business too, and should be compensated for their content. 

It is likewise important to note that if, during negotiations, one party says no, the other should respect that, too.